It started out as a normal Facebook conversation between a Yakima woman and her son-in-law. But things got suspicious when the discussion centered around the exchange of thousands of dollars.
YAKIMA, WA - It started out as a normal Facebook conversation between a Yakima woman and her son-in-law, but things got suspicious when the discussion centered around the exchange of thousands of dollars.
JoAnn Hall said she's upset about being duped.
"I was just really devastated," said Hall. "I didn't sleep very good that night at all and thinking how much worse it could have been."
What started out as a normal Facebook conversation between her and her son-in-law, Dave, quickly turned into something else. Turns out, an imposter had created a Facebook account using Dave's picture and contact information.
He started a conversation with Hall as Dave, telling her about United National Development Program. It's an organization that helps disadvantaged people all around the world.
"I was just a little skeptical," said Hall. "So I googled up this program, and it is a very legitimate program in Washington D.C. And so that kind of took away some of my skepticism."
Dave told her to friend a man named Donald John who was supposedly an agent for the program. Donald John told Hall she could receive up to $150,000.
"We kind of chatted back and forth cause I would go on and ask Dave and kind of say, hey Dave is this really legitimate, and has he told you the same things," said Hall. "And of course he was the same man working both sides of this equation, so he says sure don't worry."
Hall said it didn't hit her that this was a scam until Donald John said she would only receive her money once she paid a delivery fee of nearly $3,000.
"I knew right then and there it was a scam," said Hall.
She immediately called the Sheriff's Office and told the man she was on to him. The imposter quickly deleted the two fake Facebook accounts.
We contacted the Federal Trade Commission to see if this type of scam through Facebook is common, and a spokesperson said it is. The FTC said by using Facebook, scammers can access your closest contacts to make it appear more legitimate.